Best time to visit China

Shaoxing Wupeng Boat in China

Enjoy exploring the cultural and historical water town in a black-awning boat

Best time: March–September

Shaoxing Wupeng Boat
Shaoxing Wupeng Boat
Shaoxing Wupeng Boat
Shaoxing Wupeng Boat
Shaoxing Wupeng Boat

Imagine now you are sitting in a small boat, floating on the river seeing small bridges on the running water with residential houses along the channels. Raindrops fall from the tiles and splash on the awning. How poetic it is! This experience is what you can get when riding a wupeng boat in Shaoxing.

As Shaoxing is a water town, the unique transport named wupeng boat emerged in this particular location. Wupeng boat, a Chinese gondola, also known as black awning boat, got its name from the dark colour of its awning. There are straw mats for people to sit and lie on board. As the space is rather small, the boat may lose balance or even turn over if passengers stand on it. Each vessel can accommodate about four persons. Another peculiar fact about this boat is that it is run by human power. A rower should step on the edge of the paddle to get a reaction force from the water to move the boat.

Wupeng boat has now become the symbol of Shaoxing. The famous Chinese writer Lu Xun mentioned this boat in many of his publications because floating in a wupeng boat is not only part of his childhood but also people's life in Shaoxing.

The rainy season and summer is the best time for you to get a pleasant experience. Shaoxing has two rainy seasons—from March to June and in September. In the rain, the water town starts to exude its charm. The silence balanced with vitality will take you to paradise. The breeze and coolness of water in summer would bring you a great outdoor experience. Thus, the best time to ride wupeng boats in Shaoxing is from March to September. But other months would be a good option for experiencing it with fewer travellers around.

Wupeng boats in different spots around the city have various routes. You can choose and appreciate the historical and cultural old town on the small boat. Once you get to Shaoxing, find one of the few wupeng boat ports, and ask what route do they follow to make sure you see the attractions from your wishlist.

Practical info

What distinguishes a wupeng boat in Shaoxing?

A wupeng boat, also known as a black awning boat, is a type of Chinese gondola commonly used for transportation in the water town of Shaoxing. This boat known for carrying around four passengers is propelled by human power. It is an important symbol of Shaoxing's cultural heritage. The famous Chinese author, Lu Xun, referred to this boat in his literary works frequently, making it synonymous with his life and Shaoxing's culture. Show more

Is it safe to stand up on a wupeng boat?

For safety reasons, standing on a wupeng boat is not advisable. The relatively small-sized boats can unbalance or even overturn if you stand on them. The boats have straw mats for sitting and lying down while you savor your ride. The rowers maintain stability on the boat's edge using the paddles while propelling the boat forward. Show more

When is the perfect time to savor a wupeng boat experience in Shaoxing?

The best time to experience Shaoxing's wupeng boat ride is from March to September. Shaoxing's charm is especially pronounced in the rainy and summer seasons, from March to June and September, respectively. During the rainy season, the town's beauty radiates even more. During the summer, the refreshing breeze and cool water make it an unforgettable experience to relish outdoors. Show more

What is the seating arrangement and how many people can a wupeng boat hold?

Each wupeng boat has a seating capacity of around four individuals comfortably. The boat has straw mats placed inside it that passengers sit or lie on, with ease. It is not possible to stand on this boat to retain balance because of its small size. Passengers can enjoy their ride while relishing the breathtaking views of the town's historical and cultural sites that surround them. Show more

What should be on my checklist when picking a wupeng boat course?

Consider choosing a wupeng boat route in Shaoxing based on which route best covers the sites that match your interests. Wupeng boats run various courses in different spots around the city. Consult the boat port to ascertain which route will take you to Shaoxing's historical and cultural sites. Choose a route that best suits your preferences and maximizes your visit to the town. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin